I got back from a relaxing and lovely holiday yesterday. Which means it’s time to start thinking about the last phase of the season: the eternal quest to defy gravity, quickly. Like most disciplines, Hill Climbing requires a degree of specialist equipment, with a clear focus on the old adage, ‘less is more’. It’s also a discipline that lends itself to riding fixed. This year, my intention is to do a few more than normal on the single gear, typically i do one or two fixed, just for fun. With the National Championship being held on the Rake, i think it’s likely that i’ll ride fixed. Therefore i’m going to commit and ride a few more this season in a similar manner.
Today i set about converting my Bob Jackson into hillclimb mode. I have a sense of affinity with the bike, i’ve had it for a number of years and it has done me proud. I ran it ragged round the streets of london as my commuting bike for about 3 years. I’ve raced on it at Herne Hill velodrome, and it’s also hit the boards at Newport. When i moved to Bristol the bike was stolen. I’d injudiciously left it locked outside a pub in Stoke’s Croft and when i came back out there was only a void where once there was a bicycle. Miraculously, and in no small part due to the eagle-eyes of a friend in London, the bike came up for sale on ebay nearly a year later, and even more miraculously, considering the rank inefficiency of ebay and their general pandering to petty crime and larceny, i managed to get the bike back.
I rode the Bob Jackson in my first ever competitive event, a hillclimb on Burrington Coombe, where i came 5th. I was dressed against the cold, rather than in the skimpy hillclimber’s attire. I had heavy wheels on and 25mm tyres. I did take the bottle cage off though. This year Bob had a refit at Argos Racing Cycles and is now a beautiful deep orange colour.
It’s now pretty much in hillclimb mode, barring a few changes to save a bit more weight.
it has a campag chainset, an adapted road double, with 3/32 drivetrain and miche sprockets – much easier to change. the front is a 39t, the rear currently 16t, but I anticipate going down to 20 if necessary. Rear wheel is arc-en-ciel super champion laced to a hope hub, front is a px carbon (660g with tyre). bars and stem are cinelli, seat post is FSA, saddle is a thin strip of torture weighing 125g.